15-year-old Bury girl paddles English Channel in kayak for charity

A 15-YEAR-OLD has succeeded in paddling the English Channel in a kayak to help her raise money for an even bigger adventure.

Francesca Pink, of Buryfield, Bury, who was paired with her father Jason, 48, had attempted to cross one of the world’s busiest shipping routes on August 20, but had to cancel five miles in because of thick fog.

Visibility was reduced to such an extent that it was proving difficult to see obstacles ... including a 300 metre-long container ship!

But Francesca and her friends from the Peterborough Area Canoeists and Kayakers, Molly-May Coull, 14, from Ramsey Mereside, and Lydia Richley, 15, from Sawtry, were undeterred.

Last Monday (September 3), the trio, along with their kayak partners – Les Ranford, Danny Coull and Terry Coull – successfully made the 24-mile journey from Dungeness, in Kent, to Boulogne-sur-Mer. Unfortunately her teacher father had to miss the rearranged crossing as it clashed with the first day of term.

She said: “I didn’t realise how much the waves would affect the paddling. It was quite easy to get a rhythm but hard to keep it. We passed a really huge ship which was quite daunting as we couldn’t do anything if we got in its path. The worst part was when we couldn’t see land either side and it got a bit draining.”

The Ramsey Abbey College student raised �500 towards her World Challenge trek in the Himalayas next year, where she will also take part in community work.

Most Read

INFORMATION: If you would like to sponsor Francesca, call The Hunts Post on 01480 443451 or e-mail news@huntspost.co.uk